joy magnetism: Hooray for...yeah, you get it




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Monday, December 14, 2009

Hooray for...yeah, you get it

Magnet #661 - Hollywood

Guess where I bought this one. Heh.

It's the iconic Hollywood shot - the one that every tourist has to try and take pictures of, craning their necks out of every angle of their rental cars to take the best picture ever. And yet, none ever match up to this magnet.

But Hollywoodland is a sign that I've always had a hard time believing existed - despite every book I've ever read about it, every movie I've ever seen about it and honestly, dudes? Even every picture I've ever seen about it.

Everyone knows this story, right? That the Hollywood sign used to read HOLLYWOODLAND, and all it was, was this real estate gimmick to sell property out in the canyon-y hinterlands? So while rationally I know it totally existed, it's just so funny to think about - a whole mountainside decorated with 13 giiiiiiant letters.

But, it's true - back in 1924, they made the (supposedly only to last for 18 months) sign for like $21,000 - the giant letters hitting 50 feet, with like 4,000 20-watt lightbulbs. Come on, how awesome must that have been back in the 20s - you'd be tooling around the hills in your Model A (or your horse and cart, I suppose), and you look up and see all those lights flashing (ok, I dunno about the flashing) Holly! Wood! Land! (or the exclamation marks, really).

By 1949, the City wanted to tear down the decrepit and almost bulb-less sign, but it was too late - after 25 years, it had become part of their identity and was much-beloved, so everyone rallyed around it, and refused to let the sign die. So the City dropped off the LAND and refurbished the sign - an icon born.

Every so often now, you hear all these kooky stories about how folks want to get rid of the sign, how they want to paint the sign, or how they want to sell it out to corporate sponsors.

They better manage to preserve it the way it deserves - I would cry if they ended up outlining the white letters in Staples red!


eta:
Ok. Here's cool. Apparently, Frank Lloyd Wright opened up a western office, having built a few key houses out there to give folks views of the Hollywoodland sign. Awesome. Site's pretty neat itself - a little hard to nav, but fab architectural details of each house. Sigh. Nothing sadder than an abandoned FLW house.
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1 comment:

Julie and Gordon said...

this sign DOESN'T exist. i didn't really get a good look at it when we were in LA that one time.

and wasn't it the rocketeer that made the sign read hollywood instead of hollywoodland. think so... that ol' bill campbell.